Portuguese Rose Wines

Portuguese wines have a long heritage and tradition here in the UK, yet with the exception of Port, they have sometimes struggled to market their other wines, including rosé into the UK market. Although Portugal has less than 1% share of the crowded UK wine market, it is still producing some of the highest quality, most exciting and best-valued wines in the world, of which Mateus rosé is a prime example. Rosé was first introduced into Portugal in 1942 by a winemaker from Vinho Verde called Fernando van Zeller Guedes. He was inspired by the success of sparkling wine in Portugal and Brazil, and decided to make a rosé that was sweet and would appeal to the mass European and North American markets. It was named after the Mateus Palace that towers over the Douro river in the Vila Real Municipality, where the rosé was produced. By 1980 Mateus rosé accounted for more than 40% of the Portuguese wine industry, and it remains a ruling contender today. Other rosés of note include the award winning Colinas de São Lourenço Tête de Cuvée 2010.